Uruguay’s former President and current Senator José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica used Brazil’s emergency salary to criticize his country’s current conservative government. “Even [Brazilian] President [Jair] Bolsonaro distributes much more than us,” said Mr. Mujica, claiming that his country is “last in Latin America in terms of distributing wealth to lower classes.”
In 2019, center-right President Luis Lacalle Pou ended a 15-year stint of successive center-left administrations upon winning the election. And he has led what is arguably the best response to the coronavirus in Latin America — just over 1,500 confirmed cases and fewer than 50 deaths.
In March, the government confirmed credit lines at low interest rates provided by state-owned bank Banco República, alongside loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises. The Uruguayan government also postponed the payment of taxes and social security contributions.
The country’s economic slide in 2020 is set to be much lighter than in neighboring nations — around just -3 percent, according to predictions by the International Monetary Fund. Brazil and Argentina, on the other hand, should see their economies shrink by nearly 6 percent. Unemployment remains a concern, however, pushing the government to put in place a safety net initiative for all sectors. Employees may have their working hours cut by up to 50 percent, with the company paying half of the salary and the government paying another 25 percent.Support this coverage →